Jonathan Wateridge‘s paintings are elaborately crafted ‘non-events’ that have the trappings of a real occurrence but for the most part are entirely fabricated.
A significant part of his work over recent years has been to reconfigure or re-make a given scenario or found image. This involves building full-scale sets and using performers to enact roles, within the context of the studio, in order to set up questions about the way we frame and understand notions of the real.
The work employs painterly realism as a ‘default setting’ by which to view the world, curbing any excesses of expressive style to emphasise not only the often fleeting, banal and everyday quality of the scenes depicted but also the nature of their construction.
In recent work, the tension between depiction and form (the social dimension of the figuration and the more formal ‘abstracted’ elements in the paintings) represents the artist’s increasing exploration into the relationship of the medium and its history to the shifting images of contemporary life.